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Ndaba Mandela, Nelson Mandela's grandson, visits two Mount Vernon schools

Ndaba Mandela, Nelson Mandela's grandson, visits two Mount Vernon schools

Ndaba Mandela continued following in his grandfather, Nelson Mandela’s, footsteps of activism and inspiration by visiting two Mount Vernon City School District schools to discuss how students can foster change in the world themselves on Tuesday, November 21, 2023.

Mandela shaking student's hand.

Ndaba Mandela visited Nelson Mandela/Dr. Hosea Zollicoffer School to discuss his grandfather’s legacy and his own activism. He participated in a roundtable discussion with students at Mount Vernon High School. 

Mr. Mandela was recently nominated for an International Emmy for his series “The Mandela Project,” and he took the opportunity of being in New York to speak to students. Nakia Hiland, who worked on “The Mandela Project” and is the new director of the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau program Safe Place for Our Girls, invited Mr. Mandela to Mount Vernon to speak to students and explain the impact that young people can have in the world.

“We understand that so many individuals today still struggle, but we have people like the descendants of Nelson Mandela to carry his legacy, to speak with youth, to talk about youth empowerment and to talk about education and what that means in terms of where you can end up one day,” said Acting Superintendent Dr. K. Veronica Smith. 

Dr. Smtih and Ndaba

Ndaba Mandela told students about Mandela Day, where people celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 67 years of public service with 67 minutes of service to their community. He asked students to observe Mandela Day next July 18 with the hope that it snowballs into a lifetime of service. 

After he spoke to middle school students, Mr. Mandela went to several classes in NMHZ to answer questions from students that they had prepared with their teachers. He answered their questions and encouraged them to listen to their parents and teachers as they continue growing up.  

“It’s all about giving back to your community, about being in service to others,” said Mr. Mandela. “Being a leader is not about being the best. Being a leader is not about being number one. Being a leader is about serving and giving service to those who can’t serve themselves and standing up and being a voice for people who can’t be a voice for themselves.” 

At Mount Vernon High School, he answered questions from a panel of students and echoed his message of public service. Students in the audience also had the opportunity to ask questions. He continued to encourage students to strive for positive change, treat everyone equally and challenge themselves to help others.  

Mandela speaking to students in classroom.
Mandela, Dr. Smith, Principal Abbey and Gordon Palmer
Mayor speaking into mic with Dr. Smith and Principal Pearce and Nakia Hiland
Ndaba Mandela reaching out hands with students
Ndaba Mandela reaching out hands with students in crowd.
Students in audience.


Basketball team, cheerleaders, administrators all smiling at the camera.

Mount Vernon High School boys' basketball team beat New Rochelle in the Section 1 Class AAA basketball championship on Sunday, March 3, 2024, during an intense and dynamic game at the Westchester County Center. Mount Vernon came back to win the championship with a 41-37 win. Junior Tavien Tyler scored 16 points in the fourth quarter, leading the comeback against New Rochelle.  

Mr. Raimondi speaking at Public safety summit

Students and young people up to 25 years old partook in discussions about public safety in Mount Vernon on Thursday, February 29, 2024, at the City of Mount Vernon’s Youth Public Safety Summit. The event was hosted by the Mount Vernon Youth Bureau and Cities United, an organization committed to helping cities improve across America. 

Dr. Smith and Betty Rosa

Mount Vernon City School District representatives, including Lorna Kirwan, Board President; Dr. K. Veronica Smith, Acting Superintendent; Sandra Myke, Assistant Superintendent of Business; and Mark Raimondi, Associate Superintendent of Operations and Accountability, went to Albany to lobby legislators for additional resources on Wednesday, February 28, 2024. They had a productive meeting with New York State Commissioner of Education Betty A. Rosa to request assistance in retaining Foundation Aid.

Black History Month

The Mount Vernon City School District celebrated Black History Month with enthusiasm and reflected on its cultural significance. Throughout the month, students learned about important figures in history, the accomplishments throughout Black history and why it is so important today. Read more about what students, staff and administrators said about what Black History Month means to them here. To hear more about what Black History Month means to the Mount Vernon City School District, view the video below.

Click here to view the video!

MVHS Paris students

At the Board of Education meeting on Thursday, February 15, 2024, the Mount Vernon City School District said ‘Bon Voyage!’ to 18 Mount Vernon High School students who are going to Paris. Students departed on their plane to France on Friday, February 16.